Girls Track & Field - History

Girls Track & Field History

The WIAA began sponsoring a tournament program in girls track & field in 1971. The first State Meet was held at Appleton East.

The meet was also held at the Appleton site in 1972, then moved to Merrill in 1973. Monona Grove was the site in 1974 and 1975. Since 1976, the meet has been held in conjunction with the boys meet, and from 1976 to 1989 it was held at Mansfield Stadium in Madison. The meet moved to La Crosse in 1990 and ushered in the new Veterans Memorial Stadium there in 2009.

There was only one class of competition the first year but the program was an A-B event in 1972-74 before changing to an A-B-C format. Terminology was changed in 1991 from classes to divisions (1-2-3).

Madison West and Rosholt have won six State championships. Arcadia, Marathon and Nekoosa have won five titles. Edgar and Prairie du Chien have four championships, as has Madison Memorial, Milwaukee Bradley Tech, Waukesha West and Whitewater.

Twenty-three girls have won State championships in the same event four years in a row. Kennedy Blahnik of Algoma, Bonnie Draxler of Wrightstown, Molly Seidel of University Lake School and Joanna Schultz of Holmen are the only athletes to accomplish the feat in two different events. Blahnik won the discus and shot put from 2011-14; Draxler was the champion in the 400 dash and pole vault from 2011-14; Seidel won the 1,600 and 3,200 runs from 2009-12; and Schultz won the 200 and 400 dashes from 2003-06. 

Sue Tallard of Madison Memorial won the 440 dash from 1971-74. Anne Mulrooney of Prairie du Chien won the mile from 1973-76. Carla Banks of Madison West was a member on the mile relay or 1600 relay teams which won titles from 1979 to 1982. Ann Kattreh of Kohler won the 400 four times from 1980-83. Suzy Favor of Stevens Point and Catherine Jones of Milwaukee Riverside in the 1600 and 300 hurdles, respectively won their specialities from 1983-86. Jessie Bushman of Rosholt won titles in the 400 meters for 1989-92, Nekoosa's Heather Hyland won four straight long jump titles from 1990-93, and Jenni Westphal of Marinette won four straight 800-meter run titles from 1991-94. Jaclynn Kriegl took titles in the 200 meter run from 1995-98. Liz Reusser of Middleton won the 3200 titles from 1996-99. Kate Juedes of Clear Lake won four straight Division 3 titles in the high jump from 1998-01. In 2003, Anna Monsen of Stoughton won her fourth Division 1 100 dash title, and Amber Curtis accomplished the feat in the discus, winning three Division 2 titles and one in Division 1. Aileen Lemanski of Florence was a four-time champion in the Division 3 long jump from 2006-09. Bria Halama of Independence/Gilmanton captured the Division 3 triple jump titles from 2008-2011. Tess Thurs of Edgar was a four-time champion in the 1600 relay from 2009-12. Holly Denfeld and Elizabeth Pospyhalla of Edgar were four-time champions as members of the1600 relay from 2010-2013, and Jennifer and Jessica Parker of Neenah won four State titles as members of the 3,200 relay.

Bonnie Draxler of Wrightstown, Jaclynn Kriegl of Florence, and Elizabeth Pospyhalla and Tess Thurs of Edgar hold the record for total number of State titles with 10. Draxler won the 400 dash and pole vault for times (2011-14) and the 100 dash twice (2013-14). Pospyhalla won the 1,600 relay four times (2010-13), the 800 three times (2010-12), the 400 twice (2012-13) and the 200 once (2013). Thurs capture titles in the 1,600 relay four times (2009-12), the 300 hurdles three times (2009, 2011-12), the 100 hurdles twice (2011-12) and the triple jump once (2012). Kriegl won the 200 four times (1995-98), the long jump three times (1995-96, 1998), the 100 twice (1996, 1998), and the 800 relay (1996). Dana Collins of Milwaukee Marshall, Heather Hyland of Nekoosa, and Jenni Westphal of Marinette are next with nine. 

Anne Mulrooney won the 880 from 1974-76 in addition to her four titles in the mile. Cathy Branta of Slinger won the mile (1600) and two-mile (3200) in 1979-81, Amy Wickus of Baraboo won the 400-800 in 1988-90, Rachael Anderson of Mount Horeb won the 300 hurdles (1993, 95-96) and 3200 relay (1994-96) and Kristen Barr of Newman won the 100 and 200 dashes 2002-04.

There are 92 girls (not counting four-time winners who may have also won three additional titles in more than one event) who have won the same event three times at State. Eighteen (including Blahnik, Draxler, Seidel and Schultz) have done it in two events. Melanie Watson of Oconomowoc has won three wheelchair titles in the 100 meters, and Dani Ebben of Fort Atkinson won three straight 400 wheelchair races from 2011-13.

Jena Heidmann of Edgar, Hillary Hyland of Nekoosa, Melissa Talbot of Freedom and Tess Thurs of Edgar are the only four girls to win four events in one State Meet. In 1998, Hyland won the long jump, high jump, triple jump, and 100 meter high hurdles. In 2002, Talbot won the 100 and 300 hurdles, 200 dash and the long jump. In 2012, Heidmann won the 400 relay, 800 relay, the 1600 relay and the long jump. That same year, teammate Tess Thurs won the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, triple jump and 1600 relay.

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Wisconsin Interscholastic
Athletic Association
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